Barwick, a 2017 University of Delaware graduate, describes his current
yearlong internship in investigative journalism at the Center for Public Integrity as “a little intimidating but also awesome.”
Barwick, who graduated with a double major in American history and
English in the College of Arts and Sciences, is working at the center as
the 2017 recipient of the James R. Soles Fellowship, established in
honor of the late University of Delaware professor of political science
and international relations.
The Center for Public Integrity is a nonpartisan, nonprofit
investigative news organization founded by Charles Lewis, a 1975 UD
graduate, in 1989 in Washington, D.C. The mission of the center is to
serve democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of
public trust by powerful public and private institutions.
Lewis later established the fellowship at the CPI in honor of his
professor and mentor, who died in 2010. The fellowship is awarded each
year to a graduating senior from the University, usually one with a
background in political science and international relations.
Ryan Barwick, a 2017 UD graduate, is spending a year immersed in
investigative reporting projects as a James R. Soles Fellow at the
Center for Public Integrity.
Barwick was recommended for the
fellowship by Deborah Gump, director of UD’s Journalism Program, and
started working at CPI in late summer.
While at UD, Barwick served as the executive editor of The Review, the University’s student-run newspaper, and produced and hosted “Too Personal,” a show for UD’s radio station, WVUD.
Despite his experience in reporting, working in a newsroom dedicated
solely to investigative journalism was something new for Barwick.
“Well, it’s different,” he said. “Because it’s a 9-to-5 situation,
people aren’t trying to rush to a deadline. That being said, it’s seems
as though everyone here is an expert in their own field. I’m surrounded
by geniuses all the time — a little intimidating, but also awesome.”
While at CPI, Barwick is working with the Business in Politics team.
His first story, which looked at the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) and the future of the internet, topped off at 3,500 words. Having
never before tackled such a long piece of journalism, Barwick said the
two-month reporting and writing process with his supervisor, Allen
Holmes, was a valuable educational experience.
“I’ve never done anything like that,” he said. “I had never gone
through FCC files, which I don't really recommend, but they’re
incredibly informative. It’s cool to see how much information is
available to the public if you just look for it.”
While he wasn’t able to choose which team he would work with, Barwick
said he was grateful to end up in Business in Politics, especially
because he wouldn’t have selected it himself but now has found great
“I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “It’s cool, too, because you’re
writing about Verizon and Comcast, and these are all companies people
know but they don’t know how much they influence politics.”
- By Alaina Taylor, UDaily